How do I build a balcony enclosure to reduce wind and noise yet preserve my awesome view of NYC?
December 12, 2009 8:37 AM   Subscribe

Help me make my noisy, windy city balcony more enjoyable.

I recently moved into an awesome apartment in Brooklyn. It's on the 6th floor and has a balcony... which has an unobstructed, amazing view of the Manhattan skyline. However! My apartment faces the BQE and it's noisy. It's also freaking cold out now, and being on the 6th floor, it's very windy on the balcony.

I thought it would be a fun project to try to build a balcony enclosure of some sort. While I don't want to obstruct my view of the city, I would love to be able to go out there and not feel like I was going to blow away. Noise insulation of some sort would be great too.

I googled around and found this, and while that's the same idea, it's not what I'm looking for. I'm thinking more like going to a lumber yard, buying some kind of wood (?), and DIYing it. Some sort of noise insulation stuff. Maybe plexiglass on one side to preserve the view?

Of course, this would have to work in the summer too...

Ideas? Here are the dimensions... and a picture of the balcony.

129" wide (approx 126" within the railings)

49" deep (approx 46" within)

43" height of railing.

pic 1 and pic 2

posted by jacquilinala to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Best answer: I don't know what you could build for that but I have now lived in two different apartments with balconies. Both places have had VERY strict rules about what can go on the balconies. Basically, the only things we were/are allowed to keep are patio furniture and maybe some plants. I'm not even allowed to put my bicycle on my balcony so I have to store it inside. So you might want to double check that before you do a whole bunch of work that you have to take down.
posted by Nolechick11 at 8:47 AM on December 12, 2009

Response by poster: Nolechick11: good point. I'll check on that, thanks!
posted by jacquilinala at 8:55 AM on December 12, 2009

Best answer: What Nolechick11 said ... some buildings have strict balcony rules not only for aesthetics but also because, from significant heights, things that get blown off balconies can be extremely dangerous for pedestrians and cars below.

But of course it varies by the building. If you can put some lightweight stuff up, maybe some fabric?
posted by lisa g at 9:04 AM on December 12, 2009

Best answer: Yeah, seeing as you're in NYC the building codes are probably restrictive and enforced and there is the safety aspect. The only thing I would consider doing here is buying some sort of sturdy kids playhouse, large enough to hold an adult or two, and going inside that. It's the safest solution and least likely to generate a complaint. I'd also look at the lease and see what it says about balconies, and if you do put something like that out there, don't erect it on a windy day and anchor it well.
posted by crapmatic at 9:29 AM on December 12, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks all. I like the fabric idea. Perhaps I can cut up some of those damn ikea bags and tie them to the balcony railings - this would at least block the wind from hip-level down.
posted by jacquilinala at 7:13 PM on December 13, 2009

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